The rise of schmacon, a beef-based bacon alternative

Bacon is one of the most popular cuts of meat in the world. It’s also proved quite difficult to replicate. However, one kosher deli may have found a solution: Schmacon.

Howard Bender, the owner of Schmaltz Deli in Naperville, Illinois, decided in 2015 to launch a beef-based bacon alternative: Schmacon. Bender said the draw of the product came from its qualities and uniqueness on the market: “It has about half the calories and half the fat, and it tastes great.”

Schmacon is made with beef instead of pork. As a result, the product appeals to not only those who want a healthier version of bacon but those who simply want the taste of bacon without breaking the religious dietary laws of Islam and Judaism.

The cut of meat used to make Schmacon is the underbelly of cattle. Since that meat is usually used for ground beef — in other words, the cheapest cut from a cow — Schmacon presents an opportunity for farmers to make more money on their cattle.

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Once cut, Schmacon goes through a natural curing process using celery and cherry powder. This removes nitrites from the curing process and results in far less sodium in the product.

Schmacon is currently only available in major cities throughout the Midwest and in Texas. However, anyone can purchase the product online through the Schmaltz Deli website.

Due to the popularity of the product, there are plans for not only a domestic launch, but an overseas campaign as well. After presenting at the Gulf Food Show in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, demand for Schmacon in the Middle East is high because of Islam’s dietary restrictions.

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